Espreso. Global
OPINION

Ukraine is strong, but its strength has limits

15 May, 2024 Wednesday
13:05

A century ago, Ukraine had a state, but it vanished. Our ancestors couldn't maintain it. Lessons remain unlearned

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Historians offer various explanations for this. After reviewing them, I've identified three main factors.

When people say Ukraine lacked elites and was mainly agrarian, that's not the core issue. Many colonies and modernizing nations started similarly.

So, here are the three reasons:

  1. Internal discord: Elites couldn't unite to save the country, and society failed to engage in dialogue. Immature elites lacked a sense of national value.
  2. Disease of leftism: A common problem in poor nations with a thirst for justice and low legal awareness. This led to societal division, susceptibility to enemy propaganda, and middle-class apathy toward victory.
  3. Lack of Western support: The West never fully grasped the situation in the Russian Empire's territories, seeing them as wild lands. A temporary alliance with Germany further marginalized Ukraine.

If you observe closely, you'll find similar challenges persist today. Slightly improved, but only marginally so.

1. Our society and elites stayed united in 2022. We need another unity pact. It's a two-way street: the government avoids blunders and communicates honestly, while society refrains from attacking the government and each other.

2. We're a poor country, and the war has made us even poorer. We must unleash the economy and crack down on corruption — cutting schemes, not just imprisoning the corrupt — or face the looming threat of social conflict. We also need to ensure the return of temporary emigrants. The leftist threat is serious.

3. We must prioritize diplomatic efforts: personnel, parliamentary, artistic, public, entrepreneurial, scientific, and more. Neither the West, East nor South truly understand us. Russia's smear campaign against us adds to the challenge. Factor in apathy, fatigue, and everyone's unique challenges, and it's clear we're viewed as a major problem.

The majority of Ukrainians, including politicians, believe our country is so strong that nothing can harm it. It sounds nice, we believe in victory anyway!

It fosters a dangerous misconception: the belief that mistakes come cheap, we can do whatever we want, it’s not a big deal, and nothing catastrophic will happen.

The price of mistakes is steep, and every day we should be afraid of making irreparable errors that can't be undone. Only with this attitude toward Ukraine can we safeguard its future.

Ukraine possesses considerable strength, but even its resilience has its limits. While regular training can enhance strength, pushing beyond those limits can overwhelm even the strongest individuals.

The consequences of defeat a century ago are still fresh in our memory. We cannot afford to repeat past mistakes.

Source

About the author. Valeriy Pekar, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy professor

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.
 

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